The Alleghany Foundation Elects a New President and New Board Member

Covington VA – (September 4, 2014) –  The Alleghany Foundation Board of Directors announces the election of Jack A. Hammond as the new President of the Foundation, the election to the board of long – time Alleghany County resident, Denise J. Pillow, and the retirement of President Charles W. “Charlie” Kahle.

“I look forward to serving as President of The Alleghany Foundation, which I think is one of the most important institutions in our area, and to supporting community efforts to enhance the future or our area,” commented Hammond upon being elected.

Hammond has a long history of service to Alleghany County. He graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Chemical Engineering, went to work for Westvaco and advanced through the ranks to the position of senior vice president and manager of the Bleached Board Division – the unit responsible for operations in the United States, the Czech Republic, and Brazil with sales to fifty-five countries and revenue exceeding $2 billion. Hammond retired from Westvaco in 1999, returned to the area and has been a dedicated volunteer in numerous community leadership positions. His service includes President, the DSLCC Educational Foundation, the Alleghany Highlands Education Foundation, President of the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Capitol Campaign for the Alleghany Highlands YMCA, the Clifton Forge and the Hot Springs Shrine Clubs, the Covington – Hot Springs Rotary Club and the Galatia Presbyterian Church. Hammond also serves on several state and national professional organizations and has served on The Alleghany Foundation Board of Directors since 2007. During the Vietnam era, Hammond served in an Army Air Defense Unit as an officer based at Fort Bliss in El Paso TX. Hammond and his wife Mitzi have three children, eight grandchildren, and one great grandchild. He is a strong proponent of the value of partnerships and teamwork in bringing individuals and groups together to meet common goals. Pillow is a life-long resident of the community and currently serves in Covington as Hunger Action Enabler for the Presbytery of the Peaks. This organization assists 130 congregations with efforts to alleviate hunger/poverty and eliminate their causes. She also serves as class instructor for Everyday Elegance in Covington and Alleghany County Schools.

Pillow is a graduate of James Madison University with a degree in Elementary Education and has served as an elementary school teacher and as Christian Education Coordinator for the First Presbyterian Church. She is an active community volunteer with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service and the Alleghany Highlands Christmas Mother Program for which she served as Christmas Mother in 1995. In the past, she has spent many years of service with the Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council, the American Red Cross and others. Pillow and her husband Gary live in Alleghany County and have five children and four grandchildren.

On her election to the board Pillow commented, “We certainly have our challenges in the Alleghany Highlands, as do similar small, rural communities, but we also have our riches. Our natural resources offer endless recreational opportunities and our human resources are a great strength. One of many recent examples is that of area teachers securing an additional accessible location for the children’s summer lunch program. Not only did they help to facilitate the program, but they gave additionally of their time to read to and play with the young participants throughout the summer. I welcome the opportunity to serve with a committed team and community in continued efforts to strengthen the future of the Alleghany Highlands.”

Retiring President Charlie Kahle was elected initially to the board of directors in 1999. He served as the second president of The Alleghany Foundation starting in 2007 and following founding President James W. “Jim” Snyder of Clifton Forge. President Jack Hammond commented, “Charlie provided conscientious, thoughtful leadership as evidenced by the sincere dedication and concern for the role of the Foundation in the community.”

Kahle is a graduate of The Medical College of Virginia School of Pharmacy and is the owner of Owen’s Pharmacy in Clifton Forge. During his tenure, Kahle led the Foundation through a strategic planning process that has positioned the organization to engage more with the community and focus on Economic Transformation and Educational Attainment as two key issues for the future of the Highlands. Commenting about his retirement, Executive Director Mary Fant Donnan said, “From a staff perspective, Charlie provided tremendous support to the organization following the tragic passing in 2009 of former Executive Director Beth Webb and throughout his tenure as the organization has continued to develop.” Under his leadership, the Foundation awarded over twenty-million dollars in grants to community organizations and moved from a rented facility into the Foundation’s permanent home on Main Street in Covington. Charlie and his wife Michele live in Clifton Forge with their two children.